Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cotabato Province, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Takumi Butai Memorial Shrine 
Takumi Butai Memorial Shrine. A monument in honor of Takumi Butai and Japanese soldiers who died here during the Second world War. Takumi was the Provincial Commander of the Japanese forces assigned in Cotabato City. Before he died, he requested that some of his ashes be buried in Cotabato City. This shrine was put up by the Lion's Club of Kyoto, Japan in cooperation with the City Government of Cotabato.

Tamontaka Church
Tamontaka Church. Built in 1872 of Spanish architecture and design. It is the oldest church in the city , a relic of the living past.

PC Hill
PC Hill. A stone fort towering over the city with a height of 90 feet., now houses the Cotabato City Internal Defense Command. This is Cotabato City's famous landmark, this historic hill served as a watch tower for the natives in their defense drive to detect and repel assaults by enemies. From this hill, one can have a panoramic view of the city and the Rio Grande de Mindanao.

Kutang Bato Caves
Kutang Bato Caves. The only cave in the country that is right in the heart of the city. Its various entrances, all within traffic a rarity that can only be had in the "Heart of Mindanao". These caves were also the source of the city's present name for "KUTA" means FORT and "WATO" means STONE hence the name "Fort of Stone" which later on became Cotabato. Its walls of white, beige and brownish shade glitters in the dark and echoes a colorful past dating back to the days when no foreign foot yet trampled upon its land. The caves had given sanctuary to the natives when the Spaniards tried to convert them into the Castillan Faith and has served the purpose when the Filipino guerillas fought the invading force of the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War.

When the Japanese firepower proved superior to that of the natives, the caves were then used as an armory and even as a garrison. Within it confines, tortured and oppressed souls that thirst for freedom and democracy echoed their faint moans and cries that were buried in its bossom, muted for over half a century. there are four entrances, the Provincial Capitol Cave, Bagua Cave, Caverna EspaƱol and the Kuweba ni Satur.

Rio Grande de Mindanao
Rio Grande de Mindanao. The second largest river in the Philippines and the longest in Mindanao crisscrossing with its tributary the city's vast area. Estimated to be 182 kilometers long and 96 meters wide. Water Sports and boat racing are the popular attractions of the river, usually held to coincide with the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival and the Feast of PeƱafrancia.

Timako Hill
Timako Hill. The hill overlooks the Illana Bay and graced by the beach resorts of Linik, Kushiong and Tapian Point. A good resort considering its blue water and sandy white beach. Ideal for camping, boating, swimming and fishing.

Asik-Asik Falls
Asik-Asik Falls is located in Alamada, North Cotabato. It is said that the road to this gem is quite a challenge. That’s reasonable as the local government just found out recently that there is a need for development because they did not think of the falls to become a tourist spot.  

Asik-Asik Falls
The exhausting journey to the falls will really be paid of once you see the falls. It’s like a large tapestry of flowing curtain. The waters flow freely in the crevices of what seemed to be mossy stones or trees. It’s a natural piece of art!

Lake Sebu
Lake Sebu (South Cotabato). Tucked in the peaceful province of South Cotabato, inhabited mostly by the T’boli people, an indigenous tribe known for their rich culture and impressive traditional tapestry – the t’nalak. This natural lake is considered as a significant watershed in the country and an important source of tilapia of the municipality. Go canoeing in its calm placid waters dappled with lovely pink lotus flowers.
Lake Holon

Lake Holon (South Cotabato). Formerly called Lake Maughan, this majestic lake is a dormant crater of Mt. Melibingoy (Mt.Parker) in the municipality of T’boli, South Cotabato. Mt. Parker was named after an American surveyor who died on a plane crash while mapping out the vicinity whereas Lake Holon was named after his companion. Lake Holon takes pride for receiving an award as the Cleanest Inland Body of Water for 2 consecutive years (2203-2004).

Cotabato is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the interior of Mindanao Island in Soccsksargen Region. It is the 9th largest province in terms of land area. It is bounded on the north by Lanao Del Sur and Bukidnon, on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the south by Sultan Kudarat, and on the west by Maguindanao. Cotabato is composed of 1 city and 17 municipalities with Kidapawan as the capital.

Cotabato derived its name from the word kuta wato, meaning “stone fort” referring to the stone fort which served as the seat of the great Sultan Kudarat in what is now Cotabato City. The former province of North Cotabato was once the largest province in the Philippines. However in 1966, South Cotabato was created as a separate province. On November 22, 1973, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 341, the remaining part of the old Cotabato was further divided into the provinces of North Cotabato, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat. North Cotabato was later renamed Cotabato through Batas Pambansa Blg. 660 which was approved on December 19, 1983.

Cotabato is a melting pot of people. 71% of its population are migrants from Luzon and Visayas, while 18% belongs to indigenous communities like the Manobo, T’boli and Maguindanao. The main languages spoken are Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Maguindanao, Ilocano and Chavacano. Roman Catholicism and Islam are the dominant religion in the province.

Cotabato is considered as the food basket of Mindanao. It is the major producer of cereals, tropical fruits, vegetables, sugarcane, coconut, coffee, freshwater fish and livestock. Non-metallic products found in the province are limestone, sand and gravel, soil and white clay which is a good raw material for porcelain production and considered as one of the best white clay resource in the country. It is also one of the country’s leading producers of raw and semi-processed rubber, with markets in Asia and Europe.

Cotabato is one of the most beautiful provinces in Mindanao. It is like a jewel that is very rough and waiting to be polished in due time. The province has all the best potential tourism sites but is untapped and unexploited. Kidapawan, Magpet and Makilala are the gateways to Mt. Apo Natural Park, the country’s highest peak at 10,311 feet above sea level. The Mt. Apo Natural Park is abundant with exotic flora and fauna and it is the home of the Philippine Eagle. Tourists can indulge and feel the therapeutic effect of the many hot springs, bathe at the rivers and waterfalls and feel the solitude in the midst of urban life.

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